Distribution of relief items in the immediate disaster response can be inaccessible to women, men, girls and boys with disabilities due to travel distance, queues, difficult terrain and/or lack of information. Cash and/or voucher programmes are increasingly being considered as an alternative to in-kind distribution.
For inclusive distribution procedures, here comes few tips and directions:
Invite persons with disabilities (make sure women and men are represented) when doing consultations in the planning process to design the ration cards system;
Needs assessment has to be inclusive of women, men, girls and boys with disabilities, good data collection will ensure more inclusive and effective service provisions;
Make available and accessible information and communication about distribution (including ration cards) by using different communication media (radio, print, pictures, etc.).
Make sure that the distribution site is safe, accessible and reachable for everyone, including for men and women, girls and boys with disabilities, older people and women or child-headed households;
Avoid craggy or hilly area, choose a flat site as much as possible; a uniform surface with drainage;
Access to site should be checked: clear of rubble or other obstacles, well-signed and protected path. The ground should be flattened and compacted as much as possible;
Put up accessible signages that indicate the location of the site;
Plan for fast-track line for persons with disabilities and others who cannot wait for long hours in queues to make sure they receive assistance;
Think of smaller parcel size and more regular distribution;
Avoid prolonged waiting position for persons who have difficulties standing and moving, provide for chairs in a shadow area;
Make sure that accessible latrines and water are available at the distribution site. The water container needs to be raised off the ground so that the tap is at a convenient height;
Eventually, depending on the site, guiding string or rope could be made between the distribution site and the latrines to facilitate orientation for persons who are blind of with visual impairments.
Be aware that people with mental health conditions and trauma related symptoms may find large crowds, loud noise and the distribution site distressing. Be mindful that distribution sites/occasions can also be a good time to identify people with a disabilities including those with mental health conditions.